As we settle into warmer weather and the beauty of the new season, spring cleaning looms in the not-so-far-off distance. Tidying up our homes gets even more challenging with pets — especially if you have a long-haired cat or furry pup who loves the outdoors. Thankfully, we have several spring cleaning tips you can use stay on top of it and nix those dust bunnies!
Here, Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM and veterinary expert for Pumpkin Pet Insurance, shares her spring cleaning tips for catching excess fur and keeping outdoor dirt from getting inside.
Stop dogs from tracking in dirt.
“If you don’t wipe your dogs’ paws before coming back inside after an outdoor romp, they may be tracking in dirt,” Dr. Wooten says. “Use dog wipes to clean their paws, which will keep your floors and furniture clean too!
“You can also trim, or have the hair trimmed from the underside of the paws. That hair can be a magnet for dirt, grass seeds, and other yucky stuff.”
Use indoor and outdoor rugs.
“These are especially great to put in front of the door to catch any dirt or water your pets may bring inside,” says Wooten.
“It’s also a good idea to put them in areas your pet likes to lie down, like under the kitchen table or in front of the sink, as they can be easily cleaned. And today, indoor and outdoor rugs come in stylish colors and patterns so you don’t have to compromise on style.”
For an inexpensive and pretty option, try this DII Chindi Home Collection Handmade Multicolor Area Rug (Buy from Amazon, $8.05).
Keep pet hair to a minimum.
“Brushing your pet with a grooming rake that removes dead hair can stop the problem before it starts,” advises Wooten. “Also, having your pet groomed while they are shedding can remove a lot of extra hair. You may even consider running a lint roller over your pup or kitty to pick up stray hairs before they take off into the air!
“If that doesn’t do the trick, lint rollers are not only handy for clothes, but also work well for upholstered furniture. Other options for furniture are hand vacuums and throws that can be easily washed.”
“For hardwood floors, microfiber mops are great to use quickly to pick up hair, dirt, and crumbs. They are also more economical than disposable cloths, as you can wash and reuse them,” Wooten adds.
Regularly clean your pet’s belongings.
“Pet beds, collars, and toys pick up strong dog odors and can be a breeding ground for bacteria, yeast, and mold,” Wooten says. “They tend to be — and often remain — wet, so they need to be cleaned regularly.
“You can put the rubber toys on the top shelf of the dishwasher (along with pet bowls) and most fabric toys or bedding in the washing machine. And on a nice spring day, open the windows and let the fresh air act as a natural deodorizer!”
Use non-toxic cleaning products.
“If you haven’t already, switch to ‘non-toxic’ household cleaning products,” Wooten says.
“Not only are these safer for you and your family, but they are much safer for pets. Many products include ingredients that are dangerous to ingest, inhale, or even absorb through the skin while moving about and licking their paws. Even the toilet bowl cleaner should be non-toxic for those with dogs who drink out the bowl!”
For a non-toxic option, try Bean & Lily Floor Cleaner (Buy from Amazon, $13.29).
Looking for more spring cleaning tips? Check out these cheap and all-natural hacks that make tidying up a breeze for pet owners.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.